Rockford man found guilty of killing 15-year-old Za’Shawn Coats

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 27-year-old Juan Mora has been found guilty of the slaying of 15-year-old Za’Shawn Coats in January of 2019.

Rockford Police say Coats was walking with friends in the area of Kent and Ferguson Streets, at approximately 4 p.m. when Mora approached and asked them if they were members of the Latin Kings gang. When they responded “no,” and that they were not in a gang, Mora fired two shots in the direction of the boys, one of which struck Coats.

Za’Shawn Coats

Mora was arrested on January 25th in connection with the crime.

Assistant State’s Attorney Alesandra Friend said, “This senseless shooting was directly related to gang violence in this community. The investigation and prosecution required the assistance of members of this community we appreciate the bravery of the witnesses who came forward. Because of their cooperation, Juan Mora will be held accountable for this horrible crime.”

On Thursday, May 6th, 2021, Mora was found guilty of First Degree Murder and 3 counts of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.

He is due to be sentenced on June 11th.

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